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Wool Applique Essential Supplies

Summary

Getting started with wool applique? Read the seven essential supplies you need to do wool applique.

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Wool Applique Essential Supplies

So you want to get started with wool applique and need to know what supplies are essential or very helpful. Here are my suggestions:

Wool Applique Essential Supplies

 

  1. Pattern – Find a pattern that is created for wool or is marketed as "wool-friendly". These patterns are made using shapes that are more easily cut and stitched with fabric that has a thickness like wool or wool felt.
Wool Friendly Pattern

 

  1. Wool - this can either be wool fabric that you will felt yourself or pre-felted wool that you purchase, or wool felt. Felted wool is a woven fabric that has been washed and dried to tighten the weave (felted) while wool felt is a non-woven product that is created using pressure and sometimes a bonding agent. The latter is a bit less expensive alternative that is great for beginners on a budget, or when you need a large background that would be prohibitively expensive using felted wool.
Wool

 

  1. Scissors – Sharp scissors are a must. Some wool applique stitchers prefer serrated blades like the Karen K. Buckley scissors while others like a nice sleek scissor blade with spring action cutting like a Fiskars Micro-Tip No. 5. If at all possible, try several different pair of scissors with your fabric to determine which kind work best for you.
Fiskars Micro Tip Scissors No 5

 

  1. Chenille Needles - Depending on your thread, a size 24 or 22 needle are the most widely utilized. A size 24 is best for size 12 perle cotton while a 22 is best for size 8 or size 5 perle cotton which are heavier threads. Using the smallest needle that fits your thread comfortably will make your stitching easier.
Chenille Needles

 

  1. Threads – Wool applique traditionally shows off your stitching, so you want a thread that will really add to the look of your work. Perle cotton is the easiest type of thread to work with as it is one strand that does not need to be separated prior to stitching. Beware though, not all perle cotton is created equal. Some balls of perle cotton will come with a center core that makes the ball of thread look larger, but actually contains less thread than the smaller balls that do not contain a core. My favorite is Valdani perle cotton in size 12 as it is hand-dyed and 100% colorfast. If you purchase variegated shades of perle cotton, like shades of green, one ball can be used for a variety of fabric shades of that color. This can be especially helpful for those on a tight budget when first getting started.
Valdani Variegated Perle Cotton

 

  1. Freezer Paper – Freezer paper is a great way to make templates rather than cutting out your pattern. The freezer paper templates can be pressed onto your wool fabric and then you can cut out your pieces. It is especially helpful that you can reuse the freezer paper templates 10-12 times before needing to replace them.
Freezer Paper

 

  1. White Tissue Paper – Plain white tissue paper like you use to wrap gifts is especially helpful if you have intricate stitching that you need to mark on your fabric. The “markings" can be placed on the tissue paper and the tissue placed right over your fabric and stitched through. Then you simply tear off the tissue paper and no markings are left behind.

 

  1. Pattern Ease – This is a type of non-woven fabric generally found with interfacings in your local sewing/quilting stores. It is very lightweight and generally marked with a 1" grid. If you are working with a symmetrical design and would like to make sure that the placement is correct, you simply trace the pattern layout onto the Pattern Ease and baste the Pattern Ease to the top side of your background fabric. When you are ready to place your appliques, you put the appliques on the background and then lower the Pattern Ease down to see if they are placed correctly. If not, you can move them around so that they will line-up appropriately. Raise the Pattern Ease up, pin the pieces in place and then stitch as usual (keeping the Pattern Ease pinned out of the way – you will not stitch through the Pattern Ease). The Pattern Ease is only used as a simple way to show you the layout and to help you place your appliques.

 

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Glossary

Applique
Attaching individual pieces of fabric to a background to form a design.

Same As: Appliqué


See Also: Freezer Paper Applique, Needleturn Applique, Machine Applique, Reverse Applique, Shadow Applique
Background Fabric
The fabric used as the background when placing Applique pieces.
Chenille
This may refer to either a type of cored yarn or fabric made from it with an extra fluffy or furry texture. It may even refer to a process of making Chenille like fabric on a quilt by layering at least three fabrics (cotton, linen, silk or rayon) on top of each other, sewing lines 3/8" from each other on the BIAS onto the fabric 10 stitches per inch (or less) through all layers, cutting away the top layers of fabric (leaving the bottom most layer intact) and finally fluffing the cut fabric.
Author
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